SMART LINK is your Gentle Exercise Facilitator information connection, brought to you by Community Support Connections

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You are receiving SMART LINK, your connection to important exercise information. SMART LINK is a monthly newsletter to keep you in the loop and to be a resource for up to date information and success story-sharing! If you have any questions, please email Jenn or unsubscribe if you no longer wish to receive it to your inbox.
  CSC Waterloo Region News       
From Jenn McDonald

Keeping our clients heart healthy

February is Heart Health Month! Health Canada estimates that 2.4 million Canadians are or will be affected by heart diseases, making it the second leading cause of death across the country. However, by making the right healthy lifestyle choices, the risk of cardiovascular disease is significantly reduced.

At Community Support Connections, we care about your overall health - mind and body. It's why we offer a variety of programs to help you feel your best, so you can stay in the comfort of home.

From homestyle meals, to exercise classes and social outings, our services are customized to the needs of our clients and are affordable for everyone.

Journeying in Health Together

Walter and Diane Buelens have never been "gym people", but the couple recognize exercising keeps them healthy and in their own home, where they can be together.

"My husband and I are in our seventies; I've always disliked exercises except walking. My husband is content to sit by the computer or T.V. at this stage of his life," Diane explains. However, the Buelens love to travel, and so they recognized they needed some outlet to maintain their mobility at a price they could afford.

Community Support Connections' SMART exercise classes were the perfect solution.

"The classes were brought to our attention by our friends and neighbours," Diane continues. "We decided collectively that we would like to try it out as we're in dire need of movement."

The convenience of their class at Riverside Terrace attracted them -- it is within walking distance from their house -- and the price was right.

"Being able to go to a room in the neighbourhood with like-minded people and a knowledgeable instructor is awesome," they explain. "As we are on a limited budget as pensioners, the free classes are most welcome!"

For the Buelens, the effects of attending a SMART class together have been made unquestionably evident.

"We certainly notice a difference in movement since starting -- less stiffness when going about. It also alters the mental mindset, you feel better knowing that you're trying to be as healthy as you can."

After ever journey the Buelens take, they always make the effort to return to their classes.

"We're happy that we've started. ... We hope that [the classes] will continue indefinitely for all to enjoy!"

Our next CSC GEF Meetings are: 

Friday February 28th, 2020
315 - 430 PM
at Community Support Connections
61 Woolwich Street North, Breslau

Send us articles or readings of interest if you'd like to share them!

Exercise Resource manual link here!
VON Client Success stories:
Lorna Rake just turned 100 on Jan 14th 2020, she has been participating in the SMART exercise program at Norfolk Manor since it was first offered at the home back in August 2013. She along with all of the other residents of the home, nine of which are over the age of 90 rarely miss a class. When she was asked what her secret is to longevity she said she reads at least four books a week, does word searches, plays solitaire and euchre to keep her mind sharp. However; she says that keeping physically active is the most important thing she has done to remain independent. Last summer Lorna experienced some health problems which resulted in an extended hospital stay. After her release from hospital she was deconditioned and need to use a wheelchair for mobility. Lorna thought to herself that this was not the way she wanted to live the rest of her life and she was determined to improve her strength and mobility to a point where she could walk again.

Lorna continued to participate in the SMART exercise program five days a week in order to improve her fitness level. The residents and staff at Norfolk Manor admired Lorna’s indomitable spirit and have been inspired by her perseverance and determination to get better. Lorna is no longer using a wheelchair and can do two sit to stands in a row, her goal is to get back to doing eight sit to stands. Lorna is a true example of the fact that exercise is the universal prescription to pretty much everything and that frailty is not inevitable and that one can transition from frail to fit at any age.
VON SMART Exercise Program is working with Safe Communities Falls Prevention Action Group to promote a Valentine’s Campaign; Love Can Steal Your Heart but a Fall Can Steal Your Independence
Love Can Steal Your Heart but a Fall Can Steal Your Independence.
Wellington County Safe Communities Falls Prevention Action Group (PAG) and VON SMART Exercise Program are working together to raise awareness on steps you can take to reduce your risk of a fall. When watching television avoiding a fall seems easy with the advice of “just don’t fall”. Regardless of how educated you are about fall prevention, how good your balance is or how strong your muscles are you can still experience a fall. When a senior, who is in good physical condition, falls the impact of that fall is often reduced and they are able to remain independent. Falls are the #1 cause of injuries to seniors.

Ernie Read, a 90 year old resident of Mount Forest, participates in the Boosting Balance program offered by the Mount Forest Family Health Team. He has been attending the weekly group since 2018 and feels that it has had a positive impact on his mobility and balance. Ernie had a fall three months ago, luckily he was able to get up independently and was not injured. He attributes this positive outcome to exercising regularly - he attends Boosting Balance weekly and also enjoys walking outside with his walking poles. Ernie would also like to encourage those who are exercising alone to always wear a whistle as it is an inexpensive way to attract attention if help is needed.  
Click below for a list of where you can find all of the classes Waterloo Wellington:
Exercise classes
Stand Up to Falls sessions

VON Guelph Wellington News:  

From Kelly Gee

VON News:

“The value that volunteers provide our organization is tremendous. We could not achieve our goals and provide the support we do to the community without our volunteer’s commitment!”  The VON SMART Team has just become even stronger as we were able to add six extremely skilled and knowledgeable Volunteers to our dynamic team.

Please join us in welcoming:

Ruth – North Wellington
Dianne – North Wellington
Wendy – North Wellington
Deb – Centre Wellington
Marsha – Guelph
Grace – University of Guelph Student


Check out the testimonials from Harm 85, Molly 87 and David 97 on their experience volunteering with VON as exercise leaders.
(Seen in the last segment of the show)


February is Heart Month

Valentine Gift Ideas for your Senior Valentine:

  1. Good fitting shoes- remember that first four letters in slippers are “slip”
  2. Non-slip mats for the bathtub or shower
  3. Motion sensor lights for the front porch
  4. Motion sensor nightlights for in the bedroom, hallways and bathroom
  5. Install handrails on both sides of all stairways
  6. Double-sided tape for all area rugs and mats
  7. An ice pick for their cane
It's never too late to learn the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke.

Signs and Symptoms of a heart attack:
  • Crushing chest pain
  • Arms may feel heavy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Face seeming grey in color
  • Feeling clammy and sweaty
 Signs of a stroke:
  • Paralysis or numbness or inability to move parts of the face, arm, or leg - particularly on one side of the body
  • Confusion- including trouble with speaking
  • Headache with vomiting
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Metallic taste in mouth
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Trouble in walking (impaired coordination)


 Facial droop
Arm drift
Speech impairment
Time (Respond Quickly)

The SMART Integrated Falls Prevention Program will take place until February 15th at the following locations:
Duffs Church , Guelph
Riverside Glen, Guelph
Wellington Park Terrace, Guelph beginning February 5th 

VON GEF Meeting 
Tuesday March 4th at 12pm – Guelph Office, 401 Edinburgh Rd. N., Guelph
Wed March 5th at 1:30 – Mount Forest Office, 392 Main St. N., Mount Forest


For more information about the SMART Exercise and Fall Prevention Program in Wellington County, check out our website at!

Click on the links HERE for video demonstrations of all of our SMART Gentle Exercise components.
See these video links of our standing and seated options for our SMART Routine.

If there are questions regarding safety of SMART exercises, exercise ideas, etc., from CSC contact Caitlin Poth (Registered Kinesiologist) or Leigh Bouchard (Registered Kinesiologist)

Stand Up to Falls for Osteoarthritis (OA)

Stand Up to Falls for Osteoarthritis is a referral-based program specifically designed with the functional approach to an exercise circuit for those with hip/knee Osteoarthritis. Participants will use the theraband for lower body strengthening, core stability, and stair climbing/chair stands. The program includes participants practicing transitions from the floor to a chair and is progressive and individualized based on participant needs. 
We are offering it to clients 2x/week for 6 weeks, free of charge. We have secured a program location in Kitchener and continue to register clients as we receive referrals.

We will accept all levels of participants provided they have hip/knee OA. Faxing us the form HERE or continuing to use Caredove for referrals from registered health care professionals works great.
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61 Woolwich Street N
Breslau, Ontario
N0B 1M0
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Community Support Connections - Meals on Wheels and More · 61 Woolwich St. N. · P.O. Box 29 · Breslau, Ontario, ON N0B 1M0 · Canada

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